Thirty Six Brewlab & Smokehouse, Club St: “The Fish and Chips here edges so close to perfection”

After a discussion with a close friend about the type of restaurants are my vibe, I made a revelation that it’s somewhere in between fancy spots and cafes—which is the aura that Thirty Six Brewlab & Smokehouse exudes, to me at least.

Thirty Six interior

Not requiring an immaculate makeover and an outlandish ballgown to attend, this micro-brewery-cum-restaurant sits comfortably at the level of casual dining. Its USP definitely has to be the state-of-the-art on-site 500-litre microbrewery and 23 taps—with plans for more—that’ll compel you to keep returning for a pint that’s sure to surprise and delight.

The food that accompanies this comprehensive list of house-made beers is hearty, straightforward, honest grub that I honestly can’t wait to re-visit when I get a chance to.

What I tried

Beef empanadas

Similar to epok-epok, the Beef Empanadas (S$12) here are best eating the moment they’re placed on the table. Be sure to blow off a bit of the hot steam that escapes the empanada and ready your tastebuds for a moreish bite that’ll give you a sneak peek of the wholesome flavours that await you.

I know you may be tempted to order more of these, but I’d tug on the reigns of your hunger right about now because the next few dishes will only get better.

crusted calamari

There’s no better way to eat squid than battered and fried—IMHO—and the Crusted Calamari (S$14) is one of the best I’ve had. I have to admit, it still cannot compete with my favourite iteration at the Italian place near where I stay, but that’s me being nitpicky.

The chewiness of the squid didn’t interfere with me savouring every crumb and crunch, and it’s a no-brainer when it comes to pairing with one of their crisp pints on tap.

Spicy Pork Belly Satay

While street-side satay like the ones you’ll find at Lau Pa Sat are reliable, sometimes all it takes is a touch of flair to escalate the humble meat-on-a-stick staple. The Spicy Pork Belly Satay (S$16) is all you’ll search for in satay; fatty, meaty, sticky, and most of all, downright delicious. Pork is marinated a day in advance in a marinade that’s a medley of fried sambal, chilli padi, shallots, and kicap manis.

So, is it as fiery as the name suggests? Mildy enough to have its heat radiate on the palate, but nothing too scorching that’ll have you chugging water. You can also thank the lashings of kicap manis to regulate the heat on these amazingly tender satay bites.

Fish and Chips

Now, I’m not how many of you have an unconscious hunt for the best fish and chips around Singapore going on in your head, because I do. It might seem to be a simple task, but I’ve yet to truly nail a version that I’m willing to keep coming back for. The Fish and Chips (S$25) at Thirty Six edges so close to perfection with its Lion Brewery’s Straits Pale Ale batter huddled around a flaky, moist haddock fillet.

Take your time to relish in this dish because this will be one of the rare opportunities that you’ll have to be able to taste the beer in these beer-battered fish fillets; most others who claim this fail to harness the rich, complex flavours of beer.

Sticky BBQ Pork Ribs

While I highly recommend the comforting Fish and Chips, here’s a meat option for those who believe that beer has to be enjoyed with a hunky slab of slick protein. The Sticky BBQ Pork Ribs (S$28 for half rack, S$52 for full rack) is an instant winner that’s almost as addictive as the Spicy Pork Belly Satay. It’s certainly not a competition between the two, but I say, if you’re here at Thirty Six, might as well go big before going home.

Don’t be shy about using your hands for these; it’s the only real way to truly immerse yourself into enjoying these succulent ribs. The flesh was effortlessly stripped from its bones with the gentlest tug, while the lively union of chipotle sauce and kicap manis keeps you around for a little longer, to ensure you’ll lick that bone clean.

Burnt Cheesecake

While there are several versions of Burnt Cheesecake (S$13) out there, the one at Thirty Six is a pandan variant that is as luscious as it looks. Its aroma and taste were balanced, with subtle notes of smokiness pushing its way through the sweetness and irrefutable allure of pandan’s scent.

Final thoughts

While attempting to finish writing this piece, I quickly texted my fiance that we should skip our initial plans to cook my marinated adobo for dinner tonight and head to Thirty Six instead—no thanks to the Fish and Chips‘ beckoning call. You won’t regret changing your plans at the last minute too, because, honestly, the food here is unpretentious, down-to-earth, and perfect for unwinding with after a long day’s work.

Don’t rush yourself here; you’re meant to hang around for a little while longer than usual—and no one can blame you.

Expected damage: S$25 – S$35 per pax

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Price: $ $

Our Rating: 5 / 5

Thirty Six Brewlab & Smokehouse

36 Club Street, Singapore 069469

Our Rating 5/5

Thirty Six Brewlab & Smokehouse

36 Club Street, Singapore 069469

Telephone: +65 6239 0350
Operating Hours: 12pm - 10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 10am - 10.30pm (Sat & Sun)
Telephone: +65 6239 0350

Operating Hours: 12pm - 10.30pm (Mon to Fri), 10am - 10.30pm (Sat & Sun)
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